Competition Success Review #3: Matrix-Ecomm 2008

Another one comin’ up! And once again, its here just before the exams are. A week before. Maybe two.

Shikhar God ruled Matrix-Ecomm Sloganomics for two consecutive years. Even Arjun Lord Vader was astonished and bowed to Shikhar’s God’s might.

But this time. Shikhar God refused to grace the occasion this time. Had to “study”. God (?) knows why needs to do that.

Anyway. We set out for this two day event. Along with an acting troop of four, besides the Converge Clan.

And oh! Converge Clan is Montfort School’s official computer club. Hope you knew.

Day 1

We reach register, and unfortunately, I can’t go for the quiz. Not because of any rule, but because of the fact that it is a Tech (read Mridul) and Economics (read Tushar) quiz. No guesses for who went.

I went for Crossword and Matrix Challenge instead. With Mridul of course. I was on a very tight schedule. Had to finish Matrix Challenge and run for Crossword.

Went to Matrix Challenge. Extremely innovative event. Superbly done. Beautifully executed. Its like there are a series of .doc files hidden throughout the hard drive. You start with the one on the desktop, which contains a clue about the location of the next file, and a clue to crack the password. Yes. All were password protected.

If you got stuck, you could use a cheat – ask the supervisor to enter the password.

Let me give you an example.

The next file is in c: drive in a folder related to Microsoft.

In the C: drive, there were many folders. One was live. Rings a bell? Windows Live. Like this there were many. We got stuck on one which said

Most downloaded woman on the internet.

Who knew? None of us do something like that…

We used a cheat.

Danni Ashe

“Who’s that”

“Most downloaded woman”

“How did you know this?”

“I didn’t make it. He did”

“Come hurry up. Type the cheat. Lets continue.”

“Arre chill guys. Tum vaise hi sabse aage ho.”

That inspired confidence in me.

We reached what felt like the last question.

“Lets hurry up. Crossword starts soon.”

“Why dont we use a cheat?”

“We’ll get more points cut”

To the supervisor: “How many have completed?”

I knew the answer would be none.

Supervisor: “RKP have finished.”


Funnily enough during the event, Vivek Nair shouted out

“Hey. The cheat don’t work!”

Few minutes after we finished the Matrix Challenge, we could decipher other passwords for extra points. Each document actually led you to two different documents, which had different passwords. So if we finished a set, we could crack others.

Suddenly the power went.

Both of us, Mridul and me, jumped over the supervisor and the chair we were sitting on, and ran towards the Crossword room. We didn’t want to miss this one.

We reached in time. Got about nine. Everyone else got seven. Or eight.

Mridul get Prateek (New Era) and he said that they had got eight correct.

The worst part about the crossword was that we got a clue that nobody got

First ISP, now owned by AOL.

CompuServe. Even Mridul did not know! I knew. I’ve been with Windows 98 even when Vista RC 1 was released. How could I not know?

Taligent. A mixture of TALent and intelliGENT. Mridul knew this. Whoa!

And the one we didn’t get was

Viruses, worms, trojans, backdoors.

Malware. !@#$%!!!

Everyone got it. Nearly everyone.

Day 2

Next day, there was the next round for Matrix Challenge. We qualified. Had to. We knew we were good. But Mridul has his quiz, so he goes for the prelims, and I wait outside another room for some Matrix Challenge action. I’m bored. I see the robotics guys battling out their robots. See, MSM had this event of building a remote controlled car, and operating it (remotely) to drive it around obstacles, climb ramps and stuff. Mayank and somebody else went. Later on they told me that all frequencies clashed and all cars went haywire. Sad.

So Mridul still doesn’t turn up; others are already here. I can’t even see Vivek Nair and VS Karthik. Door opens. I go in, and find Mridul and five others chilling in the AC.

Bad. I suffer in the heat, and these guys chill? Why the heck was I not allowed in the room?

So the event starts. We are given virused computers, and have to perform certain tasks. Switching the computer on itself is a task. It boots from floppy, and no idea how to access BIOS.

Reset. Mridul bangs F1 to F12, I bang all keys on the right of the alphabets. The BIOS comes on! We boot via first HDD, and start. Windows ME.

Screen is upside down. Rotated it 180 degrees. Now for some questions.

Make the taskbar visible, but unusable.

Geniuses think alike, and so both had the same idea. Lord Vader had done a similar thing at all computers at Montfort. Print screen desktop. Paste Paint. Set as wallpaper. Hide taskbar. Simple.

Hide a file using DOS.

Ahem! I knew this! Used attrib -h -s.

Change name of taskbar.

No ResHack. Supervisor had no clue about it anyway. Left this.

Write any three unusable file names.

The mostest famousest one: con. I had done a research on this. LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4…. LPT9, AUX are all unusable, as they are port names which may conflict with Windows.

And some more.

Next round. Some logical reasoning stuff. No computers involved. Mridul is expert at such stuff. Fitjee.

Next round. A huge list of connecters asking for number of pins. Didn’t have a clue about any. Wrote 42 for almost all.

Next round. One participant assembles a keyboard, another plays Solitaire. Mridul went for the keyboard assembly, and finished in 10 minutes flat,before you could say “asterisk”. He had to arrange all keys in order. Pangebaaz had done it at home before.

I screwed up. Got about 55, then auto reset. Told you, there was a virus in all computers. Vivek Nair was at his philosophical best:

“Me and my aunt used to play solitaire on monochrome monitors…

So is there Solitaire on the iPhone?

My phone rings, and there is an urgent call for Mridul. Quiz begins. He runs. I walk. See the quiz. Some good questions.

Mridul couldn’t get the toughest ones:

How tragic. I got both (of course, MS tells you to install Silverlight almost everytime you visit the site). How come Mridul didn’t get it? He knew PostScript and Epoch Time, not Zune and Silverlight? nOOb!

Came fourth third, he did. Behind Swapan Dev Tiwari Mini Ankit Sud , who was great.

We came first in Matrix Challenge, and second first in Crossword. We fought for Crossword. Saw Prateek Vijayavargia’s paper, and Spyware was ticked, when the answer was Malware. Yay! We came first!

That’s it! Another one, gone. Two more in the booty.


  1. Ankur Banerjee · February 4, 2009

    Lord Vader had done a similar thing at all computers at Montfort. Print screen desktop. Paste Paint. Set as wallpaper. Hide taskbar. Simple.


  2. Mudit Aggarwal · February 4, 2009

    Nice.. But I dont do competitions

  3. Aditya · February 4, 2009

    @Ankur Banerjee: That’s actually half of what he did. He took a print screen of the desktop with 8-10 icons, made multiple replicas of them and arranged them randomly and set it as wallpaper. Then he rearranged the icons. The average n00b would have to try out every single icon. He had no idea which one was an image or an app.

  4. Prateek Vijayavargia · February 4, 2009

    @ Aditya – Good show mate! And congrats on the victories! I had gone to APS, DK for a General Quiz on Day 2, hence could not take part in the Quiz. Did not know this Spyware thingy, until I read here! Good that they at least showed the papers :-), not many do that these days.

  5. Ankur Banerjee · February 4, 2009

    I knew Lord Vader was evil.

  6. Aditya · February 5, 2009

    @Prateek Vijayavargia: It was a student who showed the papers. The teacher was wild at him.

  7. Mridul · February 5, 2009

    And yes.. we came third in quiz and not fourth

  8. Aditya · February 5, 2009

    @Mridul: Oh. I thought 4th as you didn’t get a trophy. Sorry anyway.

  9. prateekv · March 4, 2009

    @ Aditya – Okay the teachers at MSM seem to really strict! For making some changes to our Presentation (for the Symposium) in the morning, the teacher told us to get a written permission from our teacher!!!!
    It was bad to miss the Quiz here – Instead I went to APS Dhaula Kuan for the TAPS Fest General Quiz) I have some bitter memories at the Quiz event here. When I attended the Quiz here in 9th, we came 3rd. (The Quiz was rigged wholly). When I came in 10th, again we finished 3rd…Closely behind Montfort, losing on a tie-breaker with them, on a question about Accenture—-Anderson Consulting :-(. Were you part of the team then? I remember Mridul was there.

    The Crossword Paper was very bland and boring. It could have had some lateral thinking and cryptic clues surely. And most of the questions were too much history-based. Also, whats wrong with Spyware, if it fitted there πŸ˜‰ ?

  10. Aditya · March 4, 2009

    @prateekv: The quizmaster said Spyware. I don’t care if it fitted!! I wanted to come first!! Its all for the Quizzer of the Year at my school. πŸ˜€ Okay, maybe I was a wee bit selfish.
    This was my first time ever at MSM. I didn’t go as the team had to consist a techie and an economics kid.
    About the Crossword: Yes it wasn’t that good. But better than Dynamix.

  11. Prateek Vijayavargia · March 4, 2009

    @ Aditya – Rite np…! Ur school has a Quizzer of the Year Award? Cool man πŸ™‚
    We dont even have formal clubs till now. And everything is unsystematic and haphazard 😦

    Dynamix Crossword was better yaar, atleast it had some humour and cryptic clues.

    • Aditya · March 5, 2009

      Ha! Even our school has no formal organization of clubs. We’ve just forced the Converge Clan upon our school. And, it’s quite successful.

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